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Review : Star Wars Black Series Imperial Probe Droid, The Empire Strikes Back 40th Anniversary


The Imperial Probe Droid Deluxe Star Wars Black Series figure was released in April 2020 and was the third general release Deluxe figure, numbered D3. The figure was both a general release under Phase 3 of the Star Wars Black Series and part of the 40th Anniversary for The Empire Strikes Back.

Packaging 5/5


The Probe Droid is essentially a general release in the main Black Series line, and is classed as Deluxe and given the designation D3. The usual phase 3 elements are retained such as the Gregory Titus artwork, the Black Series logo and the red figure backdrop and side spine.


What is new, and also interesting in terms of design, is the introduction of other elements to the box. These include the curved tramline round the window - based on the original vintage Star Wars box design - and the use of the original Empire Strikes Back logo. This hybrid of styles is to define this release as part of the 40th Anniversary line for Empire. I do like this mash up over a full Vintage style box, and therefore also reduces the need to release the same figure twice in differing packaging.


The rear of the box also takes a slightly different curve with the bio for the figure, starting with similar text to the Vintage 40th card backs about the commemoration of the 40th Anniversary.


"Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back with the Imperial Probe Droid. Tenacious hunters, probe droids are armed with powerful blasters"



Once unboxed you have the Probe Droid strapped into the inner sleeve with clear tabs. Most of these are easy enough to remove - but the one round the head is set so far back it is difficult to snip and you will have to tackle it from behind. Beside the droid in the inner tray is part of the stand.


The other half of the stand is the white snow part and this is strapped to the cardboard backing. The two parts clip together - but there is a specific way the ends line up, so just ensure this is right before pushing it all together and avoid the risk of breaking anything. Once again, there are no instructions from Hasbro on how to assemble or use the stand.

Once the two halves of the stand are in place, the Probe Droid slots down on top with a corresponding hole in the undercarriage of the droid.



Paint & Sculpt 5/5


Our Probe Droid is thankfully well scaled in line with the other 6 inch figures. If you look at behind the scenes shots for Empire, and a standard human reaches the mid-body of the droid. This is the same here with the Hasbro version.


The droid is sculpted with the organic insectoid lines of the head with the glossy eye sections. Within this rounded shape are more mechanical components including rivets and panels.


Black gloss paint is applied to the eye pieces, while silver paint is used to create weathering. There is also some brown paint used to add further weathering around various panels with a dry brush effect. The final paint apps are panels and indicators in red, each applied neatly without concern.



Accessories N/A


Other than the stand, there are no accessories with the Probe Droid - this is fine as I would not have expected anything to be included based on the droids appearance in The Empire Strikes Back.


I would enter an argument at this point for the potential option of two bases for the figure. The snow diorama base is fine and fits with the theme of the figure, but in a curated display where no other figures have diorama bases I might have liked the option of a simple clear base as an alternative?


I do wonder if Hasbro toyed with making this with Sound FX...

Articulation 5/5


The Probe Droid is in no way a standard figure, and due to the design of the droid has a whole different set of articulation.


I count a total of 25 joints to articulate the Probe Droid, most in the 5 segmented arms around the base. Thee rotate at the base and pivot in two or three parts - depending on length - for a variety of options. This diversity of joint is great, but many will not deviate too much from the downward posed arms we see on screen.


The other joints are in the head with the whole head piece rotating on its lower body. Just under the head is the laser which also rotates. And right at the top of the head are two antenna. These are joined and can be raised upward - locking themselves halfway or all the way up for another slightly different look.



Summary


The Imperial Probe Droid is a perfect Deluxe release, and delivers on all fronts from the sculpt and design - to the paint and multi point articulation on each of those insectoid segmented legs. The stand adds height and gives the hovering motion we want for a larger display piece in our collections.



I do like the adjusted box design - a hybrid of the Phase 3 packaging with elements of the 40th Anniversary. But I am not a boxed collector and I wonder how much it might bother boxed collectors in terms of uniformity. My only other ask would have been for a plain base as an alternative to the snow version.


I score the Star Wars Black Series Imperial Probe Droid top marks of 5 out of 5.




See More Star Wars Black Series Figures





About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

action figures, reviews, review, articulation, star wars, black series, the empire strikes back, 40th anniversary, probe droid, imperial, empire, hoth

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